Guest blogger Joe DeRosa is a touring comedian, creator/writer/director of numerous web series, and co-author of the book CHEAT: A Man’s Guide to Infidelity, published by Simon and Schuster. Every month he’ll inform us of something to Never Believe in.
Some people have drinking problems. I mean real problems. They need to treat alcohol like the friend you had when you were twelve that always got you into trouble. So they keep a healthy distance. Rightfully so. We’ve all heard the horror stories these types tell:
“I blacked out…woke up in a warehouse…covered in blood…dead cat…”
Someone with a tale like this is someone I’m genuinely happy for when they give up boozing.
But then there are those other folks: the ones that, for some reason, just plain don’t drink. Not because of any insane incident or horrific decision they made under the influence. They just don’t do it. And I can’t figure it out.
Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve interrogated these weirdos for hours on end to no avail. I can’t understand or relate to them. First off, how good is your self-esteem that you never need an assist from beer or any of his buddies? What were you born into? Money? Fame? Royalty? Secondly, I get an uneasy feeling from someone that has such a pristine perspective on life that they never look to blur it a bit. All I ever try to do is blur. I don’t want to gaze upon this culture with a clear eye. It depresses and frightens me. Our society more or less breaks down into three demographics: the ones that are f**king you, the ones that are thinking about f**king you but just haven’t figured out an approach yet, and the ones that are jealous of the other two groups because they lack the balls or ability to f**k you. Granted, you have a few trusted friends and family that fall in between these three gaggles of pigs, but let’s face it: half of them would f**k you too the second they realized they definitely didn’t need you for money or emotional support.
So alcohol helps. It makes you think people are on your side. Look at the various activities that take place in the average bar: drunken sports fans cheering for the teams they love, college girls singing karaoke ballads to adoring patrons, people in green hats with shamrock-ed cheeks screaming the lyrics to “Come On Eileen,” men doing shots out of women’s belly buttons, husky guys sharing hot wings with other husky guys, and businessmen buying rounds of drinks for their employees. What a scene. What a lovely, lovely scene.
If booze weren’t involved, it’d be totally different. None of these people would be supporting one another. The sports fans would be arguing about what the team needed to do to win for a change, patrons would be yelling “stupid bitch” at the karaoke girl, no women would allow for their belly buttons to be filled with any drinking liquids, the husky guys would be hoarding their wings for themselves, and the business employees would be talking about what a cheap cocksucker their boss is. And most importantly of all: nobody would be singing “Come On Eileen.” Ever hear that song sober? It f**king blows.
I also believe there’d be more fights. Sincerely. Booze can be a stimulant, but it also eventually calms you down and makes you all mushy. It really does take the edge off. That cliché is entirely true. I mean, think about how on edge you’d be if the only thing you ever drank was mineral water. Or diet soda. And, by the way, diet soda causes cancer, yet people still drink it all day long. Think about that. When it comes to the average intake of the average person, alcohol is technically healthier for you than diet soda. Also, alcohol also doesn’t taste like Nutrasweetened shit.
But so many people, fueled by a delusion of health, stop drinking it. They see booze as a crutch. Well, it is. But what’s so bad about that? We all use crutches everyday to get by: mood stabilizers, therapy, church, exercise, junk food, porn. I’d be hard-pressed to think of one person I know that doesn’t drink and avoids using any one of these other items or substances in its place. And I realize you may be thinking, “But some of the things on that list are good for you.” Of course they are. I never said alcohol was good for you… even though it actually is if utilized correctly… I just said it wasn’t bad.
Then there are those that have the worry of alcoholism. As previously stated, “If you’ve got a real problem, get out of the bar.” But let’s define real.
As most support groups would tell you a problem is defined by the “substance making one’s life unmanageable.” Right there, we lose a good chunk of so-called alcoholics. If this truly is the case, there’s no such thing as a “functioning” alcoholic. You’re either too f**ked up to function or you’re not.
In my opinion, real alcoholics are as rare as those fat people that eat so much they have to be chainsaw-ed out of their house. Also, if alcoholism is such an epidemic, then why is there a bar — or four — on almost every block of every major city? Try going out for the night in New York or Chicago or Boston or Philadelphia and not drinking. You have one other option: sober Big Buck Hunter. Enjoy.
The point is, if our only choice for nighttime entertainment is establishments to imbibe, but it’s so dangerous to enter these establishments as they would only feed the outbreak of dependency in our culture, then this country would eliminate these establishments. Survival is always a species’ highest concern. But bars are everywhere, just like restaurants. We’re not going to get rid of the latter to accommodate the morbidly obese, just like we won’t get rid of the former to accommodate the raging alcoholic. Why? Because the percentage of the population made up by either of those types of people is pretty small.
So then why do so many think they have an alcohol dependency? Probably for the same reason so many people go to church but don’t act Christ-like once they’re out of eye shot of the alter or claim to be politically active just because they discuss social issues in coffee shops or “practice” vegetarianism while eating fish, turkey and sometimes chicken. People just want to be part of a group. Camaraderie – running with the pack – is a species’ second highest concern. We all need a team to identify with. It makes us feel safe and gives the comforting illusion that one day, when total chaos ensues, the angry town mob will skip our house as they attack their neighbors with torches and pitchforks. OK, that’s an extreme, but social acceptance is clearly a necessity of existence.
So I’ll pick a side: booze. It’s a way more fun team than the churchgoers, politicos, vegetarians, and, most of all, the sober types.